Setting up a helpline at a community center with the help of panchayati raj and forming a team of volunteers to help students without access to digital resources are among a few measures listed in the Students' Learning Enhancement Guidelines announced on Wednesday.
The guidelines, formulated by the National Council fo Educational Research and Training (NCERT), were released by Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank'.
"These guidelines emphasise upon the community working closely with a school to get learning material such as workbooks, worksheets delivered at the doorsteps of children by teachers and volunteers. It also suggests to teach local students by volunteers or teachers setting up a television at a community centre and maintaining social distancing norms.
"They also talk about setting up of a helpline at the community center with the help of members of the community and panchayati raj. It recommends orientation of parents to support and participate in the learning of their children," Nishank said.
The commendations made in the guidelines are based on a survey undertaken by the NCERT on the accessibility of digital resources in the schools of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and also on Continuous Learning Plan prepared for states and Union territories by the Ministry of Education.
"The guidelines will help children, who do not have digital resources to get learning opportunities at their homes, with their teachers or volunteers. Apart from this, it will also help in our efforts to overcome the learning deficiencies of all those students who are learning at home through various alternative ways using radio, television or smartphone," Nishank said.
The minister informed that the guidelines and models are suggested for three types of situations.
"Firstly, in which students do not have any digital resources. Secondly, in which students have limited digital resources available. Lastly, in which students have digital resources available for online education," he said.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16, when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as part of measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
A nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25. While several restrictions have been eased, schools and colleges continue to be closed.
The prolonged closure of educational institutions has mandated a shift from classroom teaching to online learning.